September 5, 2013

Easy Chicken Pho


Today I am sharing something with you that just might change your life!

No it's not the latest self-help book.

And no, I didn't win the lottery (although I would share).

It's Pho....(insert angels singing here)

No, I didn't just sneeze!  Pho is a Vietnamese Noodle Soup and it is seriously un-believable

I had it for the first time this past New Year's Eve.  Amy, a new neighbor who hails from Vietnam, had brought it to the party we were at, and I swear...after my first warm, intense flavor-full noodley bite...I swooned!  I literally ran over to my husband to have him taste it and waited to see if his life had instantly changed too.  A bowl of Pho is like eating a hug...a warm, loving, happy, delicious hug from the most amazing person you can imagine (maybe someone on your Top 5 laminated list?? Hmmmm).  

So THIS was what all those instagram pics from my foodie friends in NYC was about - THIS is why they seem to seek out bowls full of noodles every chance they get, sometimes I wonder just how those two very tiny people eat all they do...they eat like it's their job, sometimes the food they eat looks amazing, sometimes to me it's scary - all I know is one day I need to head to NYC and have them take me out to eat (you know who you are Ken and Margaret)!!  Check out their Instagram feeds, they sure will make you drool!

I cornered Amy to ask her how to make it and really sounded like an all day thing to make it truly authentic, (chicken hearts may or may not be involved).  I knew instantly that I had to make some for myself.  I've been tinkering with trying to get a bunch of flavor into the broth in a short period of time since I really don't want to be at the stove all day to make soup.  I am happy with this result, but now I want to taste Amy's again so I can compare and adjust.  One of these days I am going to spend some time in her kitchen!

My 11 year old son went crazy over this - he ate a giant bowlful 2 days in a row.  My husband also loves it - minus the Cilantro...both him and our daughter detest the taste of even 1 leaf.  The little one says all she can taste is soap - just like her daddy!  I personally think both the Cilantro and the lime added at the end are what help make this soup so magical!

Oh and by the way, Amy says it is pronounced F-uuuh, no fough or fooooo.  It really does sound weird when you say it to someone that way - they just look at you like - "ok...finish your word now".  What I was really told is that it sounds like that 4 letter word F***, just drop the c and the k.  And there you go, a language lesson and a recipe :)

PS: Thank you, thank you, thank you Amy for both introducing me to this incredible soup and for the big bowl of leftover Pho you sent me home with...sigh...a food memory I will treasure always!

If you love soup as much as I do...check out these favorites of mine:

Garlicky Tortellini soup with Spinach - My FAVORITE!
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup
My Soup Board on Pinterest had a bunch of drool-worthy soups as well!


Easy Chicken Pho

8 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 scallions, chopped rough
1 TBS minced fresh ginger,
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
A few dashes of Tabasco
½ cup chopped carrots
Chicken bones, skin, leftovers (optional)
4-8 ounces  Glass/Cellophane Bean Thread Noodles or rice noodles
2 heaping cups of shredded chicken
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1 cup cilantro leaves
A few pinches of Truffle salt (optional)

In large stockpot over high heat add chicken broth, garlic, scallions, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, Tabasco, sesame oi, carrots and if you have it a chicken carcass, wings, skin legs…whatever you have.   Bring your stock to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low.  Allow the flavors to develop by simmering for 20 minutes.   Remove stock from heat, allow it to sit for 20 minutes, then strain the stock into a large bowl, pressing on your solids to get every bit of flavor you can.  If you are adding slice mushrooms, add them now to th broth.

Just before you are ready to serve the soup, place your noodles in large bowl , cover with hot water AND Soak for 5 minutes.  Drain noodles and set them aside.

Return your strained broth to your pot and bring to a simmer and add in your shredded chicken, cook for 5 minutes.  Add in the lime juice and turn off the heat.  Fill your bowl(s) with the amount of noodles you would like (I like the bowl ¾ full of noodles) then ladle in the soup.  Top each bowl with cilantro leaves and serve.


Colleen's Notes: I recommend either using a leftover chicken carcass or buying a rotisserie chicken for this - just take what meat you need for the soup, find a use for the rest and use the skin, bones and wings for the stock - it makes the broth so very rich!

Amy's Pho did not have mushrooms, however if you enjoy mushrooms feel free to add some sliced shiitakes to your soup.  I opted to add a few pinches of truffle salt and we totally enjoyed the result.

A bowlful of Pho is a meal, so plan on this for your  lunch or dinner.  This amazing left over as well, just place your still wet noodles in a sealed container or make a fresh batch, it only takes 5 minutes.  They way I warm it up is to strain out the chicken, bring the broth to a boil, remove from heat and then add the chicken and noodles in and top with cilantro (this way your chicken doesn't dry out).  My mouth is literally filling with saliva as I type this - you HAVE TO make it!!


Enjoy!!

24 comments:

  1. How lucky that you have a Vietnamese neighbor to be your "pho guide"! I fell in love with Vietnamese food when I lived in Boston (dang, that was 20 years ago I"m just realizing..!!)

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    1. I can not believe it took me till now to experience Pho for the first time!! Know of any good Vietnamese restaurants locally?

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  2. Crap. And NOW I have to run to the store. Thanks for that!

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  3. When I came to America, I was introduced to so much variety in food and Pho was something I fell in love with. They have some really good place s int he Bay. Thanks for reminding me of Pho, will have some this weekend.

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  4. Nice! And gluten free if you use the right sauces and fresh broth. Very delicious looking :)

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  5. Oh man. I want to try this immediately! Pinning, for sure!

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    1. I seriously think I could live on this (and shrimp and good bread & butter)!

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  6. Wow, that looks good. I was just sitting her "trying on" the correct pronunciation and now my 2 yr old is running around going Fuh! Fuh!...guess it is time to try it, eh?

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  7. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I'm gluten free now and ALWAYS looking for new recipes to try.

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  8. I love Pho. I cannot wait to make it.

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  9. Interesting! I, too, have been wondering what this Pho is (I thought you pronounced it "fo" - long o. LOL!!! I have never had it but now I am curious.

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    1. Jo-Lynne I am becoming obsessed!! I have yet to try a beef version - only chicken & seafood. However I just can not imagine anything being better than the chicken...sigh...True love!

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  10. This recipe looks healthy, simple and delicious. I found you through the tastykitchen and I featured Chicken Pho in the Scratchin on the Web section of my post today. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Welcome & thanks Savannah (lurve TK)! I am actually simmering some broth now on the stove for more Pho tomorrow....Yummalicious!!

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  11. I love Pho. I think it is the best soup i have ever eaten. My girlfriend & i have a special restaurant we go to. But they had a fire in the kitchen & am still waiting for them to reopen. Been to others but that one seems to be more authentic tasting.

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    1. I agree with you - a bowl of Pho is just so comforting and delicious! Hope your "place" reopens soon!

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  12. My boyfriend and I recently just discovered Pho and I fell in love. Luckily there is a wonderful restaurant very close to seeing as I used it as my chicken noodle soup replacement when I had the flu and it turned out to be the best hangover food after New Year's Eve. The place we go uses sriracha sauce and the plate served with it has bean sprouts, jalapenos and lime. Just a few suggestions :) And the cilantro part made me laugh out loud. Both my boyfriend and I ask them to hold it. Very excited to try to make it at home!

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    1. Great ideas, I use Sriracha in mine from time to time - that's one of the bests parts about making this - everyone can customize their own bowls...Now I need some Pho, lol!

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  13. Where are the mung beans and Thai basil? These are CRITICAL to actual Pho, otherwise you're just making random Vietnamese-inspired soup. That being said, I am saving this recipe, and I hope to make it sometime soon! Thank you!

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    1. Funny enough, the woman who made the first Pho I ever had a few years ago recently moved here from Vietnam - she does not use mung beans (which I was glad for because I am not a fan). She does use a ton of what she calls Vietnamese Lettuce aka Cilantro. I was going for an easy Pho that anyone could whip up at home to enjoy - hope you enjoy making it, customizing it and making it your own :)

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  14. I am addicted to Pho. A work friend introduced me to it and I have been hooked ever since! I have to have it at least once a week and have often had it 2-3 times a week. I always have the rare steak though and not the chicken, but I'm sure that the chicken is just as addicting! I'm for sure going to make this recipe - I'll let you know how it turns out!

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  15. I just tried this recipie and it was delicious!!

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